Nigeria has lost one of its finest, one of its great nationalists and one of its foremost activists, in Pa Tunji Gomez, whose death was announced yesterday, at the ripe age of 90 years.
Coming in the mould of the first Nigerian lawyer, Alexander Sapara Williams, Pa Gomez was a man of honour, who stood for truth and justice, all the time and became famous for his principled lifestyle of: “Its A Matter of Conscience.”
He was a faithful Bar man, choosing to stand on the side of truth, always. He championed the democratisation of law and canvassed for an all inclusive Bar, always attending meetings and functions of the NBA, even at old age. His resolve was to keep attending court, till his final breath. And he did just exactly that.
Pa Gomez will be missed, for his frankness, for his candour and for his assertive roles, in achieving equality at the Bar.
In the death of Pa Gomez, Nigeria has lost a titan, a foremost activist and an unrivaled nationalist. He was a worthy role model for lawyers, activists and all true patriots.
The Bar has also lost one of its faithful advocates, who devoted his life and time to the welfare of lawyers, independence of the Judiciary and indeed respect for the rule of law.
Pa Gomez championed several campaigns for the promotion of human rights, equality and freedoms. He was very selfless in all his struggles, preferring to deploy his own personal resources to prosecute his campaigns, for the common good.
I commiserate with the Nigerian Bar Association and indeed the good people of Nigeria, on this clearly irreparable loss.
I urge all our leaders, especially our political leaders, to be guided by the lifestyle of Pa Gomez, by embracing people oriented programmes, that would alleviate the current sufferings of the masses of our people and to execute governance on the platform of respect for and promotion of human rights, the rule of law and due process.